TikTok, Reels, streaming services, going live on social—video content is everywhere and for good reason. It’s estimated that the average person spends 16 hours per week watching videos online, which is a rather large window of opportunity to capture your target audience’s attention. And capturing that attention pays off. Up to 84% of consumers say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video. On top of that, seemingly every social platform is adopting Stories, expanding live streaming capabilities and creating their version of a short-form video creation studio.
But before you pursue big-budget branded video content for social strategy, you need a solid plan and an understanding of how to make the most of that content so it’s worth the investment. Here are nine tips to get you started:
1. Create video content that is meaningful to people who are already your fans
Social media video content is great for building brand awareness and attracting potential customers. When you’re in the ideation phase, shape your content around the followers and fans you already have. Tell a story that will be helpful, intriguing or meaningful to them and the target audience you hope to hook.
Explainers and how-to videos are the most popular type of marketing video among brands and consumers. They’re a great way to introduce a product or service to new audiences and help existing customers troubleshoot or enhance their experience with the product.
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FabFitFun, a subscription service that supplies boxes of beauty, fitness, wellness and home goodies, shares great examples of these kinds of videos. In their seasonal “Spoiler Alert” series, they show off all the items available to subscribers, explain stand-out product details and show those products in action. It’s educational and exciting for their customers as they mull over how to customize their boxes, and provides a quick intro to the FabFitFun brand and their high-quality products.
2. Use previous content’s success to inspire new videos
If you’re unsure of what video content your audience might like to see, tap into your social data. Using an analytics tool like Sprout Social, take a look back at your most successful content. Which topics, themes, creative assets or campaigns received the highest engagement? Sprout’s Post Performance report takes the guesswork out of that process and collects those high performers for you.
Also, take a look at the pages and blog content that receive the most traffic on your website using Google Analytics. The content that resonates with audiences and drives traffic and customers to your site most could very well inspire future video content.
3. Think about the social assets you’ll want before you film
When producing any kind of social media video content, it’s important to think about how you’ll promote it before, during and after launch. Before you film, think through the creative assets beyond the video content itself that you can capture on set. Consider adding some of the following content to your creative plan:
Behind-the-scenes teaser content is a great way to intrigue your audience and give them a peek behind the curtain of the creative process. Depending on the style and type of video you’re filming, consider creating a mini docu-series made up of short video teasers of where you’re going, who you’re filming, how you set up and more.
Boomerangs, animations and GIFs can express emotion with motion. If you’re filming a guest subject or members of your team and they’re willing to get a little goofy, get them to demonstrate an array of reactions and emotions that you can later use to engage with your audience on social.
— Sprout Social (@SproutSocial) September 30, 2020
Lifestyle images are a simple way to set the scene and again, tease the upcoming video content. In Sprout’s Always On series, for example, our team uses bird-eye view images of our subject’s desk to give a preview of who and what’s to come.
The beauty of these kinds of assets is that you don’t have to be a videographer or photographer to make them look good. Our mobile phones have cameras that produce high-quality images, so you can snap away while you’re on set.
After filming, as you’re preparing to launch, add all of your creative assets to the Sprout Asset library, to keep them organized and readily available for you when you’re ready to schedule your content.
4. Goals, goals, goals
When developing your video content, your goals should always be at the forefront of your mind. It’s not enough to just want to entertain your audience. You’ve got to set measurable goals up front so you can understand the effectiveness of your content once it’s live.
When setting your goals, determine where your content falls in the marketing funnel. What do you hope to accomplish with your video?
Once you’ve determined your high-level goals, you’ll need to decide which metrics will be your key performance indicators and set benchmarks for performance. For awareness stage content, your KPIs might be impressions, clicks or video views. Or if you want to generate demand for instance, consider looking at comments, shares or click-through rate.
There’s no magic metric that means you’re right on track, but rather, a culmination of metrics that will help you measure your success. Not sure which metrics to monitor? Download Sprout’s social media metrics map for a comprehensive guide to goals, metrics and KPIs for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
5. Be intentional with your CTAs
Including a clear and strong call-to-action (CTA) in your video and accompanying social copy is a must. Inevitably, you’ve already thought about the action you want the viewer to take after watching. So, why not be explicit about that intent?
CTAs that drive conversion have a measurable result that ladder up to your goals. The key to an effective CTA is that it’s easy to spot and intuitive for your audience, so they know what the result of their action will be. And there’s no shame in putting your CTA in more than one place, whether it’s in the video, your social copy, still frames and more.
When determining what CTAs to select, consider the tone of your video as well. Is your video inspirational, serious, educational or casual? Make your CTA match that tone.
6. Make your videos accessible
Accessibility matters. There are also roughly 466 million people in the world who are deaf or hearing impaired. That’s a huge audience, so your video, and all your social media efforts, should be accessible for all. Sound is a major part of video content, but it’s not just people who are hearing impaired that don’t hear it. Approximately 85% of consumers view video content without sound.
Add closed captions and alternative text to all your video content, GIFs and animations for everyone to enjoy. Both YouTube and Vimeo, two of the biggest video-sharing platforms on the Internet, offer ways to add captioning and/or subtitles to any videos you upload. There are also captioning apps like Clipomatic or Zubtitles, which automate your subtitles on social videos.
Been painstakingly captioning all of our videos. I do it all manually for a faster turn around & accuracy. Lots of added work that way, but it’s worth it.
— Bill Lyon (@BLTartan) October 8, 2020
7. Don’t neglect SEO
YouTube is not just a video marketing platform, it’s also a powerful search engine that processes more than 3 billion searches per month, making it the second-largest search engine behind Google. That makes it incredibly important to factor in SEO when publishing videos to YouTube.
Just as you would for your website or other marketing collateral, you’ll need to research and incorporate relevant keywords in your title, video description, tags, captions, links and CTAs. The keywords should align with the goal and message of your video, but also consider what your audience is interested in and how they talk about it online. You don’t have to guess. Keyword research tools like Google Trends, Moz and Ahrefs will tell you what you need to know about your keyword’s search ranking, whether it’s a competitive keyword and more.
Once you’ve got your keywords set, your video wrapped and you’re ready to go, use Sprout Social to publish video posts to YouTube and input all the necessary information. Publishing from Sprout ensures that later, when you’re ready to report on the success of your video, the data will be automatically pulled into your YouTube report.
8. Analyze video performance
Creating video content can take a lot of time and resources, so you need to make sure you’re measuring the return on that investment. Put your data analyst hat on. It’s time to talk reporting.
I agree that the metrics that we measure depend on the video itself. But overall, I look at:
– watch time to see how long our viewers engage with our video
– CTR to measure how well our video encourages viewers to take a desired action
— Viennelyn Copero (@viennelyn) September 17, 2020
Determining up specific, measurable goals upfront puts you in a better position when it comes time to dig into your data. Sprout’s analytics reports provide a clean, presentation-ready visuals of all your data. As you analyze your metrics, use the following questions as a guide:
- What happened? Look at the metrics you established as your KPIs. Did you meet or exceed your goals? Or did you video fall short? What metrics demonstrate that?
- Why did something happen? Look closer at metrics beyond your KPIs and identify anomalies in your data. Were impressions or video views for your video especially high on a specific day? Did your video performance start strong and taper off? If you’re unsure why something happened, you may need to look beyond analytics to social listening for more qualitative data.
- What action should be taken? Once you’ve answered the previous questions, you can shape a new strategy, if you need to. Let’s say for instance, your goal is to reach 100,000 views in one month, but after 2 weeks, you’ve only hit 20,000. Your plan might be to increase your posting cadence. Or, perhaps you can tap your brand or employee advocates and request that they share it on their personal profiles. One of the most effective ways to give your content the push it needs to reach your goal is to boost it. If you have a budget, even a small one, consider boosting your video content across social platforms.
The right plan of action depends on your audience, your goals, your brand, your overall marketing efforts and more, but Sprout’s video analytics will help guide and validate those decisions.
9. Turn your video into additional social assets
According to the 2020 Sprout Social Index™, 37% of social marketers say they need more resources for video to make a greater business impact. However, before you build your business case to get buy-in for more video resources, it’s important to recognize that a single video asset can go a long way in supporting social strategy and overall goals.
The beautiful thing about video’s format is that it can be split, shortened and transformed into something completely new. Whether that’s a graphic quote, still photos, teaser clips, or GIFs, spinning your video into additional creative assets extends the life of your video and squeezes as much value from that one video as possible.
These kinds of assets can oftentimes live beyond your video story, stand on their own and be incorporated into your long-term content strategy. If, for example, your original video is a customer testimonial where the subject raves about your brand and product, those quotes will be virtually timeless. Turn those quotes into a graphic or short clip and they’ll speak for themselves and can be repurposed down the road.
You know your audience, what they value and what they want or need from your brand. Whether you have a massive budget and a full video team, or you’re a social media team of one with limited resources, there’s a ton you can do with the videos, tools and expertise you already have. So go forth and let your video content live its best life on social and beyond.
Want to learn more about turning a single video into a collection of additional content assets? Download this free workbook to maximize the value of your videos.